Audio Technica ATH M50x vs. Sony MDR V6 | COULD HAVE HAD A V6!
Hi friend and Welcome aboard!!
Before we get into the Audio Technica ATH M50x vs. Sony MDR V6 comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
For this article, I will do a quick and dirty comparison, and then link to my official recommendation towards the end! 🙂
My M50 Review!
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
I’ve come to love both of these headphones, though I’ve always had the M50 version (without the x). I got a chance to demo my friends 50x’s awhile back, and there wasn’t a whole heap of difference between them. The changes are subtle, but they’re still present. Here they are:
A choice of different colors. Subject to Change.
contoured ear cups that seal tighter for improved isolation.
A tad more bass.
The peak at 9kHz, which contributed to the sibilance of the M50 has been markedly improved on the 50x.
The M50x has softer pad covers and the vents on the back of those pads are a bit smaller.
My Video Review!
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Other than that, they’re pretty identical.
The V6’s really impressed me upon first listen, and I think now in my older age I appreciate them more than the Sony MDR 7506’s, which have more bass but can get harsh/sibilant in the treble area. What does Sibilant mean? The 7506’s were my first “high end” headphone, followed by the M50 and then later the V6. In the case of the 7506, you don’t necessarily even need that much more bass. It’s a little unnecessary.
Imagine for a second a bass response that feels and sounds right. It’s deep, tight, and doesn’t sound overblown. The sound is crisp. It’s not in your face, but at the same time it’s really exciting. It’s honest, but not to the point of being too clinical or frustrating.
This is what the V6 provides. In fact, my new motto for anyone who considered the V6 but passed on them for something else is: “Well, you could of had a V6.” Lol. The headphone is similar to my beloved Sennheiser HD25, but less intense. The HD25’s also have a tendency to become harsh after a long listening session, and I have to take a break. The V6’s are much more relaxed.
With that, let’s get into the Similarities & Differences between the 50x and V6!
Both are circumaural, though I would consider the V6 kind of an On-ear/Around the ear hybrid. My ears don’t quite fit inside the cups, but the cups don’t quite rest on my ears. It’s somewhere in the middle.
Size/Weight. The M50x is a lot bulkier and heavier than the V6. It’s not a bad thing, just different. I love the compact nature of the V6. It feels solid, but still lightweight and portable.
Fold. Both headphones are compact in that they fold and collapse into smaller sizes for transport. The difference lies in that the V6’s ear cups do not rotate 180 degrees, while the M50x’s do. In my opinion, this is why my own M50’s have held up for so long. There are simply less ways for them to snap or break. Some people find it annoying that they are so flexible, but I think it’s advantageous to their overall build and longevity.
Material. The V6’s ear-cups may peel easier over the long term, as they are made out of a flimsier material. The M50’s pads tend to harden and then crack over time, but the material is thicker and harder to peel completely off. For awhile I went to the trouble of completely peeling off the entirety of the ear cup matter, and was left with a soft, plushy foam. This did alter the sound signature a little bit, but it wasn’t enough to really make me want to get rid of them.
Cable. The V6’s only come with a coiled cable, while the M50x’s provide a choice between coiled and straight. The V6’s cable also isn’t detachable, while the M50x’s is.
Comfort. Because the V6’s are lighter, I can wear them for longer periods of time without fatigue.
Portability. Because the V6’s are smaller, they work better for transport. The coiled cable is much more conducive for travel than the M50x’s long, straight one. Even with the coiled cable for the 50x, I think the V6’s are slightly more portable.
Overall sound. What you’ve been waiting for 🙂 The V6’s sound signature is more relaxed to me. Some will say that the treble is brighter, and I just don’t see it. Both headphones suffer from sibilance from time to time. It’s just an inevitable fact with these types of cans. They’re bright. It’s that simple. But, The V6 is more balanced overall, while the 50x’s have some peaks that to me aren’t that problematic, but to others may be. The bass on the 50x is definitely punchier, no question. Do I like it more? No. I appreciate the leanness of the V6’s bass, as it’s not over done. The V6’s are also more of a studio mixing/mastering type of headphone. They will reveal flaws better than the 50x’s. The 50x’s is marketed as a studio headphone, but it’s really more for the casual consumer looking for a bass-head type sound that’s not overdone. I love the 50x’s as an entry level bass-head can. they just perform marvelously well in this regard.
Mid-range. The mids on the V6 make the headphone better in my eyes because I can hear more details in vocals and instruments. The M50x’s is slightly recessed by comparison, which is something that I’ve been trying to avoid as I get older and my tastes become more refined. Whereas in the past I used to prefer a V-shaped, bass oriented type of sound, I now much prefer a mid-range oriented headphone, with emphasis on detail, precision, and clarity rather than slam. You will notice more subtle details with the V6’s.
Soundstage. For closed back headphones, these two have a pretty impressive soundstage. What is Soundstage? Upon first listen, the M50x will make you think stuff is going on outside of your head. The same can be said for the V6. In listening to Moment’s Notice by John Coltrane, there’s a sequence around halfway through where the drums really come alive. I thought that my upstairs neighbors were making noise, or that something was going on outside until I went back and listened again. Some of the Kick Drum sounds really became present.
Frequency Response. The V6’s go from 5Hz-30kHz, while the M50x’s comes in at 15Hz-28kHz. As you can probably surmise, the M50x’s may hit harder, but the V6’s are more textured and detailed. This is why I like the V6’s bass more. It’s more accurate and meshes better with the song.
Carrying case. Both come with a separate carry case, but the material and quality is better with the M50x’s. The V6’s case is a type of shiny vinyl, and doesn’t feel as durable.
Overall, I would say the 50x’s are the consumer headphone, while the V6 is the studio choice. I still would recommend the V6 over the 50x because of it’s more balanced sound signature, better mid-range, the fact that they perform in both critical and casual listening situations, and their startling price to performance ratio. In my eyes, the V6 is the best closed back entry level headphone, period. There is nothing in it’s price range that comes close for what you’re getting in terms of sound quality, build, and overall longevity. You would be hard pressed to find another headphone that will last you as long as the V6.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.